Bike-riding thugs knock man down and steal his phone in Flatiron

feb8bikegangrobbery

Some of the robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for 10 or possibly more people who, while on bikes, snatched a man’s cell phone after one of the cyclists ran into him.

It was on January 27 when the victim, a 45-year-old man, was at the corner of East 24th Street and Park Avenue South. The cyclists, who were described as young and may have been teenagers, approached him and one of them spat at the man. Another cyclist then ran into him, knocking the man to the ground. The victim’s iPhone tumbled out of his hand when he fell and when he tried to reach it, realized it was gone. The iPhone was valued a $800. It isn’t clear if the victim was injured.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for robbery, Man charged with stealing hand truck

ACCUSED OF BREAKING WINDOW, MAN THEN ARRESTED FOR PREVIOUS ROBBERY
Police arrested 42-year-old Christopher Keppel for alleged criminal mischief in front of Papaya Dog at 239 First Avenue on Thursday, January 24 at 3:40 p.m. Police said that when Keppel was fighting with an unknown person, he punched the storefront of the business.

After searching the area, an employee of the business spotted Keppel and identified him as the person who had allegedly damaged the window. After Keppel was searched, police found that he was in possession of a bag with a white powder that was inside his boot. Keppel allegedly told police that the bag was his crack.

After he was arrested, Keppel was charged with a robbery that took place in front of 245 First Avenue on January 18 at 5:55 a.m. Police said that Keppel grabbed the victim’s cell phone from his hand and punched him in the face.

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New Year brings spike in crime

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, January 15 (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The beginning of the year has brought a spike in crime to the 13th Precinct, with an almost 14 percent increase in the last week due to a string of burglaries and robberies.

“The good news is that I made them stop the shutdown for the L train in anticipation of the increase in crime that we’ve seen lately,” Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman joked at the precinct’s most recent community council meeting on Tuesday, January 15.

Hellman, the precinct’s commanding officer, told neighborhood residents in attendance at the council’s first monthly meeting of the year that the last week was the most high-volume for crime since he took over the precinct at the beginning of last year.

In addition to the arrest of Bryan Lincoln, who was collared for three alleged attempted robberies in Union Square on January 11, Hellman said that two suspects who haven’t been arrested were responsible for four burglaries within a three-block radius in the precinct that same day, breaking into businesses while they were closed and grabbing cash from the registers.

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Cabbie punched and robbed in Gramercy

jan17 taxi robbery suspect1

First robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for two men who stiffed a cabbie, stole his phone and punched him in the face on a street in Gramercy.

Cops said that on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:10 p.m., the 31-year-old driver was dropping off the men at Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street, after they’d hailed the cab at 96th Street and Broadway. However, the passengers didn’t pay the fare before getting out and when the driver asked for the money, one of them reached into his window and stole his cell phone. When the driver got out of his car to get it back, one of the two men punched him before they both fled.

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Second robbery suspect

The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

The two suspects are described as being black and about 18-20.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Police Watch: Robbery at Goodwill, Employee assaulted at Washington Irving

ACCUSED SHOPLIFTER AT GOODWILL ALLEGEDLY HIT EMPLOYEE WITH HELMET
Police arrested 38-year-old Nicholas Vandermillen for an alleged robbery inside the Goodwill at 220 East 23rd Street on Saturday, January 5 at 10 a.m. Police said that Vandermillen took a helmet from a display inside the store and attempted to leave without paying for it. An employee then confronted him, and this turned into an argument outside the store.

Police said that Vandermillen then spilled coffee in the victim’s face and both he and the victim fell to the ground. Vandermillen allegedly stood up while the victim was still on the ground and grabbed the helmet with his left hand, then swung it and hit the victim in the face with the intention of causing physical harm.

Vandermillen was also charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

TEEN ASSAULTS EMPLOYEE AT WASHINGTON IRVING BUILDING
Police arrested a teenager for assaulting a Department of Education employee inside the Washington Irving campus at 40 Irving Place on Thursday, January 3 at 11:53 a.m. Police said that the teen punched a DOE parent coordinator in the head, causing pain to the left side of her face. The coordinator was removed to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment.

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Teen mugged on East 14th Street

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two people who mugged a 19-year-old as he walked past the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office on December 21.

The victim was headed to get a slice of pizza at around 5:20 p.m. when the two suspects, male and female, approached him in front of 335 East 14th Street and asked him for the time.

When the victim pulled out his iPhone to check, they pointed an unknown object into his back and demanded his belongings. The victim complied, dropping his phone and bookbag, which the muggers snatched before fleeing west on East 14th Street.

The male suspect is black and was wearing a blue jacket, hoodie, blue jeans, black and white sneakers and a black skullcap. The female suspect is black and was wearing white sneakers, blue jeans, and a camouflage and black hooded jacket.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call 1-800-555-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

This article has been updated to include descriptions of the suspects.

UPDATED: Two attempted robberies on Oval

Dec7 ST Christmas security booth

Security booth at Stuyvesant Oval (pictured December 2017)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuy Town’s Public Safety department is on the lookout for two male suspects who attempted to rob an older man as well as a couple in the Oval early on New Year’s Eve morning.

A Town & Village reader alerted us that as he was walking around the Oval at around 12:30 a.m., an older man was mugged by two people. Fortunately, the victim was able to get help from a couple of other people who happened to be around. The reader noticed this happened near the security booth, which was unmanned at the time.

Asked about this, Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk confirmed the incident, but said the victim wasn’t touched by the suspects.

According to Hayduk, they’d approached the man on the Oval and said, “Give us your money.” The resident refused and continued to walk away and they didn’t chase him. However, the pair then tried the same thing with a nearby couple, who also declined to turn over their money, and the would-be muggers fled empty-handed towards First Avenue.

“The first resident immediately reported it to Public Safety who canvassed the area (officers on foot and by video) to no avail,” Hayduk said, adding that the resident asked management not to call the NYPD.

Hayduk added, “The Oval booth is only occupied when the officer is seeking shelter, otherwise that officer is patrolling the Oval or the immediate vicinity.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect management’s statement that there was no physical contact between the suspects and the victim.

Police Watch: Bus driver arrested after hitting pedestrian, Suspect arrested for alleged CVS robbery

Robbery suspect

BUS DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER HITTING PEDESTRIAN ON EAST 22ND STREET
Police arrested 54-year-old Damion Seeley for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury in an incident on August 17 around 10 p.m. near the intersection of East 22nd Street and Second Avenue. Seeley was driving a bus near the intersection allegedly hit a man in his 40s who was crossing the street. Police said that Seeley then left the scene without waiting for police to arrive, and the victim was transported to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries. Seeley was arrested on Monday, December 10 at 6:40 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. Police did not have further information about whether the bus was owned by the MTA or a private company.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED ROBBERY WITH HYPODERMIC NEEDLE AT CVS
Police arrested 41-year-old Alan Betances for an alleged robbery that took place inside the CVS at 253 First Avenue on Wednesday, November 14 around 8 p.m.

As Town & Village reported at the time, a man strolled into the store and began throwing items from the shelves into a garbage bag. When an employee confronted him in the aisle, the man allegedly pulled out a needle and told the worker to “step back.”

Betances was arrested on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

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Teen robbed for his phone in NoMad

Dec13 NoMad robbery

Robbery suspect

Cops are on the lookout for a man who robbed a 16-year-old of his phone last Thursday.

The victim told police he was in front of 110 East 30th Street at around 8:30 a.m. when the robber snuck up behind him and forcibly grabbed the cell phone from his bag. The man then fled south on Park Avenue South. The phone was said to be worth $500.

The suspect is described as black, 35 years old, 6’01” tall and 200 lbs. He was last seen wearing all a red hoodie, green coat and tan pants. Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Man robbed for Balenciaga shoes at Gramercy hotel

Dec6 Shoe robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

A man was robbed for a pricey pair of kicks at the Freehand Hotel in Gramercy last Saturday.

Police said the 26-year-old victim was in a second floor public bathroom at the hotel at about 4 p.m. when two men approached him and demanded his Balenciaga shoes.

After being threatened, the victim turned the pair, worth $300, over to one of the robbers, who is described as being white, in his 30s, 5 ft. 11 ins. and about 180 lbs.

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Man charged with going on beauty product stealing spree

The suspect allegedly stole thousands of dollars’ worth of products from different Blue Mercury stores. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

One man’s alleged shoplifting spree throughout the last month from a high-end cosmetics store came to an end when police said they caught him stealing from a Flatiron store on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Seamus Limato, 36, was arrested inside the Blue Mercury at 695 Sixth Avenue around 2 p.m. on Black Friday last week after he allegedly tried to steal more than $1,000-worth of products from the store. Police said that Limato also tried to flee but he was caught nearby.

Limato was charged with grand larceny in connection with this incident, as well as resisting arrest after police said that he flailed his arms and legs while officers were attempting to handcuff him.

After he was arrested for the incident on Black Friday, police connected Limato to nine other thefts, primarily taking place in Blue Mercury locations throughout Manhattan. Police said that in a number of the incidents, Limato took as many as 30 different products each time, including skin creams, shampoo and other cosmetics.

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Teen mugged in Peter Cooper Village building

Dec6 Robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By  Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two muggers who held a resident of Peter Cooper Village up at gunpoint on Tuesday night.

Police said the victim, who is 16 years old, was walking home at about 11:10 p.m. when he was confronted by the pair in the vestibule of 510 East 23rd Street.

One of the robbers pulled out what appeared to be a real gun while demanding his property. The victim then turned over $90 in cash and his iPhone and the muggers fled towards the FDR Drive.

The suspects were described as male and black, one wearing a blue hoodie and black sweatpants and the other wearing grey shoes gray sweatpants and a black coat.

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Police say teens behind two Kips Bay muggings

Robbery suspects 2 and 3

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a team of teenage muggers who they say violently robbed two people on the same evening.

On Tuesday, November 20 at 6:10 p.m., two teen boys and two girls approached a flower stand vendor in front of 390 Third Avenue at East 28th Street. They asked the vendor for change for a five-dollar bill, only to forcibly swipe the cash from the 37-year-old victim after slamming him against a wall.

Then, 20 minutes later, the group (without one of the female suspects) strolled up to 428 Third Avenue at 30th Street, where they approached a delivery man on his bike. They asked the 19-year-old victim for change but then pushed him into a wall while trying to grab money from his pocket. However, they ended up fleeing empty-handed.

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Shoplifter threatens Target employee with box cutter

Nov29 Target robbery suspect

Target robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who threatened a Target employee with a box cutter when he was caught shoplifting at the store at 500 East 14th Street.

On Friday, November 23 at about 2:45 p.m. the man strolled into the store and proceeded to take diapers, body wash, lotion and deodorant without paying, police said. When he was confronted by a store security worker, the man pulled out the box cutter, while warning the victim, “I will cut you.”

He then fled with the merchandise.

The suspect, who was seen on fuzzy surveillance video, is described as being about 5 ft 6 ins. tall. He is being sought for robbery.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) or visit nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.

Man sentenced to five months for bodega robbery, lawsuit alleges sex abuse at spa

MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE MONTHS FOR 14TH STREET BODEGA ROBBERY

The Manhattan District Attorney has announced the quick sentencing of 36-year-old Eutano Bernard to five months in jail for a robbery inside the bodega at 353 East 14th Street on Wednesday, November 14 at 6:53 a.m. Bernard pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree and was sentenced on Monday. He had entered the store, Community Candy, west of First Avenue, on Wednesday morning and told the cashier, “Give me the money,” before he tried to get behind the counter. He then attacked the store employee, causing cuts to the victim’s head and mouth.

MAN FILES SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT AGAINST FLATIRON SPA WORKER

The New York Post reported that a man who said he was sexually abused while getting a massage in the Living Fresh Men’s Spa at 44 West 22nd Street is suing the person he accused of the crime. As Town & Village reported in September, 47-year-old Pei Tian was charged with sexual abuse after he allegedly removed the towel from the victim during a massage and used his hands to touch the victim’s genitals and buttocks. The suit says that the victim, New Jersey resident Ronnie Arnau, went to the spa with his husband to get a massage and facial but 10 minutes into the session, Tian began focusing “exclusively” on Arnau’s buttocks, making him uncomfortable. The suit seeks unspecified damages and Arnau’s lawyer said that the spa ignored her client when Arnau first reported the assault.

MAN CHARGED WITH EXTORTION OVER PHONE STOLEN FROM GYM

Police arrested 40-year-old Sefu Sieka for an alleged theft in front of 4 Union Square East on Tuesday, November 13 at 11:19 a.m. The victim previously went into the 13th Precinct and told police that his wallet had been stolen from his locker while he was working out at a Blink Fitness.
He said that after it was taken, an unknown woman contacted him and said that she had his wallet and credit cards and wanted a reward from him in exchange for returning the wallet. She also reportedly told the victim that she had used the money in his wallet to buy food.
The victim and special operations officers from the 13th Precinct set up a meeting with the victim and Sieka, at which point Sieka was allegedly seen with the victim’s wallet before handing it over in exchange for cash. He was arrested shortly after. Sieka was charged with grand larceny by extortion, possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

WOMAN ALLEGEDLY LIED HER WAY INTO A FLATIRON APARTMENT

Police arrested 66-year-old Constance Gibbons for allegedly trespassing inside an apartment at 1107 Broadway this summer. Police said that Gibbons went inside the building on July 17 around 5 p.m. and gave the doorman her name, allegedly telling him that she was a representative of Eaton Properties, a property management company. Police said that the doorman gave her a key to one of the apartments, which she then reportedly entered unlawfully. Gibbons was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Friday, November 16 at 5:34 p.m. Police said that Gibbons gained entry into an apartment by use of deception and remained there without permission.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER CRASHING INTO SCAFFOLDING

Police arrested 25-year-old Einne Bunting after he was involved in an accident in front of 49 West 20th Street on Saturday, November 17 at 2:39 a.m. Police said that Bunting was driving east on West 20th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, allegedly speeding, when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle, spun out of control and crashed into the scaffolding in front of the building on West 20th. When police arrived, Bunting allegedly had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Bunting was taken to Bellevue Hospital for blood testing after he was arrested. He was charged with criminal mischief and intoxicated driving.

MAN ACCUSED OF DAMAGING LYFT DRIVER’S CAR IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested 28-year-old Youssouf Konate for allegedly damaging a car at the corner of First Avenue and East 28th Street on Saturday, November 17 at 8:45 a.m. The victim told police that he received a call to pick up Konate from his Lyft app. When he arrived, Konate and five other men tried to get into the victim’s car. The victim told Konate that he wasn’t allowed to have that many people in the car, after which Donate allegedly kicked the passenger’s side rear door, leaving a dent.

TEEN WORKER ARRESTED FOR STEALING CASH FROM BED BATH & BEYOND

Police arrested a teenager inside the bed Bath & Beyond at 620 Sixth Avenue for petit larceny on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:30 p.m. Police said that the teen, an employee at the store, was observed swiping cash from the store’s register on various occasions between November 5 and 12. The total value lost was under $1,000. The teen’s name is being withheld because of his young age.